Antonio Felix da Costa continued BMW’s strong start to the 2018/19 Formula E pre-season test as the series’ new race format was trialled for the first time at Valencia.

Da Costa became the first driver to lap under the 1m17s mark as he posted a new unofficial lap record at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo on a 1m16.977s in BMW’s new Gen2 car to finish four tenths clear of reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne in the morning session.

New Mahindra recruit Jerome d’Ambrosio finished the second day of running in third, ahead of Audi’s Lucas di Grassi and Felipe Massa, who outpaced Venturi teammate Edoardo Mortara by less than a tenth to round out the top five.

Ex-Formula 1 racer Pascal Wehrlein was seventh-fastest, heading a quintet of drivers - including Jose Maria Lopez, Andre Lotterer, Daniel Abt and Alexander Sims - to lap within the same tenth, with Abt and opening day pacesetter Sims recording exactly the same time.

Mitch Evans was the fastest Jaguar driver in 12th, ahead of HWA’s Stoffel Vandoorne and the NIO duo of Tom Dillmann and Oliver Turvey and Virgin Racing’s Robin Frijns.

Formula 2 driver Antonio Fuoco finished 17th-quickest as he got his first laps on the board in Formula E machinery, with the Italian splitting driving duties with F2 rival Maximilian Gunther as the American squad continues to evaluate its driver options for its yet-to-be-filled second seat ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

Recently-crowned DTM champion Gary Paffett was 18th in the timesheets, ahead of the second Virgin Racing car of Sam Bird and Nelson Piquet Jr’s Jaguar.

Sebastien Buemi was over six seconds adrift at the bottom of the timesheets in the sole Nissan entry, with Alexander Albon again absent amid increasing links to a possible 2019 F1 drive with Toro Rosso.

The afternoon was split into separate sessions as the focus switched to race simulations, including a test of the new 45-minute-plus-one-lap race format for the upcoming season five campaign.

Buemi set the fastest time in an initial 30-minute session following the lunch break that proved somewhat unrepresentative as only 10 drivers set times, with the season three champion’s best lap some way short of the quickest time managed by da Costa in the morning.

A race demo followed which included the first trial of Formula E’s new attack mode that will feature for the first time during races in season five.

Abt caused a disruption to the afternoon running when he crashed at the chicane and brought out the red flags, while Vandoorne and Gunther were among a number of drivers to run into reliability problems.

The day concluded with a final 30-minute session in which Vergne headed a Techeetah 1-2 on a 1m17.342s as all drivers barring the HWA pair of Paffett and Vandoorne and Mortara completed laps.

The third and final day of running is scheduled to take place at Valencia on Friday, following a rest day on Thursday.

Formula E Pre-Season Testing – Day 2 Results

 

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